If you already have the Amazon app you will know how easy it is to use, you simply find a product in a High Street store you like, scan the barcode and hey presto this is how much it costs on Amazon, and do you want to order? – you’re standing in the shop, no problem click this button and the product you have touched, checked out and verified in that high street store is now ordered through Amazon.
Well eBay is taking this further having just announced that they are to add an image recognition tool to its mobile apps by the end of this year, what does this mean for all of us with the mobile app?
In simple terms as we see it you could take a picture of say a pair of shoes and then the app will recognise the product and use it to instantly scour the eBay site for the product….. No need to scan the barcode as with Amazon, just take a picture and the mobile image recognition software would ‘recognise’ clothes or goods, then use that information as what it thinks is the most appropriate search term within eBay, instantly bringing up auctions with similar images. Again you could then order and checkout as you go.
For an already embattled High Street this means that the power really is in shoppers hands, you could walk and scan and compile a shopping list with the High Street picking up all the fixed costs for your online shopping and actually order online where potentially it is likely to be cheaper.
How should the High Street respond? Well i think one of the key things (amongst many) needed to be done is to concentrate on the overall shopping experience. Stores need to have keen helpful staff who provide a great experience, let you touch and feel the products and make you feel valued as a customer.
Without a doubt competition is fierce and its getting fiercer it will be interesting to see who can rise to the challenge and which retailers fail?